LA ROCHE-SUR-YON, France (VN) — Richie Porte is hoping Chris Froome’s Giro-Tour double ambitions might open a door for the BMC Racing captain.
A tired Froome might mean a vulnerable Froome. At least Porte is hoping so.
“It was nice to watch him in the Giro and I hope he’s buggered,” Porte said Thursday. “He might be.”
Team Sky’s Froome is aiming to become the first modern rider to win four grand tours in a row. His winning streak started last July with his fourth Tour victory, followed by the Vuelta a España in the first Tour-Vuelta double since the Spanish grand tour was moved to late summer. Froome’s eye-opening, late-race comeback in the final week of the Giro d’Italia delivered the pink jersey. [related title=”More Tour de France news” align=”left” tag=”Tour-de-France”]
Porte is hoping that Froome will run out of gas before reaching Paris.
“I hope he is tired,” Porte said. “Guys like Vincenzo [Nibali] and Nairo [Quintana] are not going to give him an easy day. If he does have a bad day, there are quite a few guys ready to end his winning streak.
“It’s been since Pantani it hasn’t been done,” Porte said of the Giro-Tour double. “I was here in 2011 with Alberto, who crushed it in the Giro and was fifth which is nothing to sneeze at, but couldn’t back it up in the Tour.”
Porte signaled Sky as the team to beat, even if he has some question marks about Froome’s ability to deliver the double. Only BMC can match the British squad with all-round firepower on the flats and mountains.
“Chris was at the Giro with a strong team and here in the Tour with arguably a stronger team,” Porte said. “If anyone is able to do it, then perhaps him. He’s won the last four grand tours he’s done. He’s here with the goal of winning it, and he’s probably done the right work to do that.”
‘Froome deserved his privacy’
When asked about Froome’s recently resolved salbutamol case, Porte said the damage was done to cycling.
“I guess he’s been cleared. It’s never really about us, it’s above us,” he said. “It doesn’t matter our opinion. It’s a shame once again, cycling airs its dirty laundry in the public. It would’ve done us all a favor to stay behind the scenes.
“Whether you like Chris or not, he had the right to have his privacy respected. I think that’s more the story, where did the leak come from?
“Now that he’s been cleared, he’s probably more motivated than ever,” Porte said with resignation.